Ant Group, an affiliate of leading Chinese multinational technology company Alibaba, is planning to let the users of online-only bank MYbank test China’s central bank-issued digital currency. A report unveiled this news on May 10, noting that this trial will let some of the bank’s customers link their accounts to China’s digital yuan application. This option will also be available to users of Ant Group’s AliPay application.
According to the report, Ant Group has a 30% stake in MYbank and this partnership seeks to help advance the trials and research of the digital yuan. By leveraging both AliPay and MYbank’s apps, the CBDC is set to get wider exposure, seeing as MYbank has more than 35 million clients. On the other hand, AliPay is one of two leading mobile pay applications that let the Chinese population make online transactions seamlessly.
Increasing efforts to make the digital yuan’s use widespread
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This news comes as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) continues testing the practicability of the digital yuan by launching trials in various Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Shenzhen. Over the past year, the authority distributed millions of dollars worth of its CBDC through an app linked to the six largest, state-owned banks.
Through these trials, PBoC allowed multiple Chinese citizens to purchase products from a host of brick-and-mortar stores, as well as on JD.com’s e-commerce application. The partnership with JD.com also saw the company pay select employees in digital yuan.
While PBoC currently seeks to foster the use of its CBDC domestically, the authority plans to make expansions globally. Reportedly, PBoC is holding talks with Mastercard to make the digital yuan a global currency. Explaining the role that Mastercard would play in helping PBoC introduce its CBDC to the global market, Mastercard’s Asia-Pacific co-president, Ling Hai, said the payment giant could enable the conversion of the digital yuan into foreign currencies.